Many people ask me, as a criminal defense lawyer, isn’t New Year’s a busy time for you? All the people that are out drinking and driving? The truth of the matter is that most people who go out on New Years know that they’re going to have a few drinks. Because of that, they take the precautions to insure that they have either a designated driver or an alternate means of getting home. So, I would say that while the amount of DUI’s do increase over the holidays, I believe that it is in large part because of stepped up enforcement, not because there are more people that are committing DUI offenses.
What’s that mean for the public? It means that officers are on heightened alert and are more focused on making DUI arrests than at other times of the year. It means that if a person is stopped and even though they may be sober, if they’ve consumed some alcohol they stand an increased chance of being arrested for DUI.
So while I always recommend being responsible and not drinking too much before getting behind the wheel, at this time of year I also recommend not drinking at all if you’re going to get behind the wheel. The chances of being wrongfully arrested are greater around the holidays than at any other time.